HE Shared Legal is a national shared legal guidance and support service for the UK higher education sector.

HE Shared Legal provides ad hoc legal guidance to subscriber institutions in relation to individual enquiries.  In addition, we circulate generic guidance in the form of a regular newsletter highlighting legal developments of relevance to the sector.  We also offer a legal services consultancy service, which is available to all HE institutions.

Newsletter Issue 121

Data protection: Taskforce recommends replacement of UK GDPR; European Commission adopts UK adequacy decisions
Employment: Acas publishes guidance on hybrid working; Updated Home Office guidance – right to work
Procurement: Public Procurement (Agreement on Government Procurement) (Amendment) Regulations 2021; Update to requirements for publishing information on Contracts Finder
Tax: Vat deferral payment scheme closed
FAQ Procurement: What is the National Procurement Policy Statement?
Read Full Article…

Newsletter Issue 120

Data protection: Data Sharing Code of Practice before Parliament; ICO to consult on bespoke UK standard contractual clauses; Anonymisation, pseudonymisation and privacy enhancing technologies guidance
Employment: Right to work checks – Coronavirus (COVID-19); Long Covid advice for employers and workers; Employment Rights Act 1996 (Protection from Detriment in Health and Safety Cases) (Amendment) Order 2021
Tax: HMRC Employer Bulletin June 2021
FAQ: Governance – What is the Professional Qualifications Bill 2021-22?
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Newsletter Issue 119

In this issue, the topics we will cover are as follows:

Governance: OFS Statement of Expectations – Prevent and address harassment and sexual misconduct; Proposals to strengthen freedom of speech at Universities; HSE guidance: Making your workplace COVID-secure

Employment:   EAT- strike out of claim and litigants in person; Household costs tax relief for homeworkers extended; EAT- sex discrimination and shared parental leave; EAT- determining substantial adverse effect under Equality Act 2010

Charity: Guidance on resuming public charitable fundraising

FAQ: Contract – Are electronic signatures valid and admissible after 1 January 2021? Read Full Article…

Newsletter Issue 118

Data Protection: ICO plans for anonymisation guidance
Governance: Additional six months for 2020-21 gender pay gap reporting; Home Office launches central registry for slavery statements; New statement of changes to Immigration Rules
Employment: Tribunal – dismissal for refusing to wear face mask was fair; ACAS guidance – getting COVID -19 vaccines for work; EAT – auxiliary aids and reasonable adjustments; Court of Appeal – removal of director and discrimination
FAQ Employment – What are the National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2021?
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Newsletter Issue 117

Public Procurement: PPN 01/21 Procurement in an Emergency
Governance: OFS consultation on harassment and sexual misconduct in HE
Employment: End of employment and grievance procedures
Data protection: ICO toolkit for organisations using data analytics; EU Commission publishes draft adequacy decision for UK
FAQ: Employment – Can an employer use equality and diversity training to rely on the defence in section 109(4) of the Equality Act 2010?
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Newsletter Issue 116

The topics covered in this edition include: Governance: UK-EU future relationship; OFS issues letter to HEIs on regulation during current phase of pandemic. Data Protection: FOIA: Withholding of Employee qualification and Training information from disclosure permissible under section 40(2). Employment: Updated government guidance on work absences due to Coronavirus. Read Full Article…

Newsletter Issue 115

The Topics covered in this issue include: Procurement: Guidance on public sector procurement after the end of Brexit transition period; Application for summary judgment and automatic stay lifted in procurement claim. Data Protection: ICO publishes detailed guidance on criminal offence data. Employment: HMRC issues updated guidance to reflect extension of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Read Full Article…

Newsletter Issue 114

The topics covered in this issue include: Employment: Gender fluid/non-binary employee covered by Equality Act 2010 definition of gender reassignment; Indirect age discrimination: establishing group and individual disadvantage; Data Protection: ICO’s open letter and further update to regulatory approach during health emergency; ICO publishes updated guidance on data access requests; Governance: UUK publishes new guidance on international collaborations; UUK: checklist for supporting students who are required to self-isolate

Read Full Article…


Frequently asked questions

What is HE Shared Legal?
HE Shared Legal is a shared, non-profit-making, legal guidance and support service for HE institutions throughout the UK.
What does HE Shared Legal do?
There are three main elements to our work:

  • Shared, “in-house” legal service – providing guidance and support with (ie generally answering) specific legal enquiries in the manner of an in-house lawyer
  • Generic guidance – publication of regular newsletters and FAQs on a wide range of legal topics of relevance to HEIs
  • Legal services consultancy – assistance and support with the selection, engagement, instruction and, if required, ongoing monitoring of external legal advisers
What is the significance of the ‘in-house’ aspect?
As far as possible, HE Shared Legal works with institution representatives on a friendly, informal basis, as if the HE Shared Legal lawyer was physically embedded within the institution concerned. We also endeavour to establish a strong working relationship with the relevant HEI managers and a sound understanding of the institution and its approach to governance, risk management, etc.
What areas of law are covered?
The service deals with nine broad areas of law, as follows:

  • Employment
  • Property
  • Charity
  • Environmental
  • Commercial Agreements (including procurement law)
  • Banking and Financial Services
  • Corporate and governance
  • Tax, insurance and pensions
  • Intellectual Property and IT law
Are there any other aspects to the work of HE Shared Legal?
In addition to the three main elements described above, the service also offers the following:

  • Preliminary transaction and case planning
  • Trouble shooting
  • The conduct of joint projects
  • The development of standard procedures and documents
What are the limits to the HE Shared Legal service, ie what does HE Shared Legal not do?
The service has no mandate to deal with the following:

  • Provide professional legal advice, with the benefit of legal liability (as opposed to informal, legal ‘guidance’ and ‘support’)
  • Represent institutions in relation to dealings with third parties
  • Conduct cases or transactions, although preliminary case/transaction planning is provided

Where support of this nature is required, HE Shared Legal will be happy to assist with the selection and engagement, on competitive terms, of suitable specialist legal advisers.

Who are the typical users of the service?
The service may be used by any nominated representative within a subscriber institution. Typically, the users of the service will be senior managers from one or more of the following disciplines:

  • Finance
  • Commercial
  • Governance
  • HR
  • Estates
  • Registry
  • Procurement
When did the service start?
The service opened for business on 1 May 2012.
How is HE Shared Legal funded?
Having been funded initially by HEFCE grant, the service is now financed by subscription fees from subscriber institutions.  We also offer legal services consultancy to other HEIs and relevant sector bodies.
How much is the subscription?

The current subscription fee is £5,000, exclusive of VAT, covering the period of six months from 1 August 2021 to 31 January 2022. There are no additional usage or other charges.

What legal form does the service take?
HE Shared Legal Limited is a company limited by guarantee, managed by its employee directors.  The company is planning in the longer term to convert the service from a subscription basis to a full VAT cost sharing group or some other suitable structure involving a measure of ‘ownership’ by the subscribing institutions.
Finally, what are the main benefits of the service?

The principal benefits of a subscription to HE Shared Legal are as follows:

  • Ready access to experienced legal resources at low cost
  • Potential to achieve substantial savings on external legal fees
  • Assistance with development of good practice and assurance
  • Access to sector-wide intelligence and contacts on legal issues
  • Part of the HEI ‘corporate armoury’

For further information, please contact HE Shared Legal at: enquiries@hesharedlegal.ac.uk.